tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 18, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
2016. it isn't about donald trump. this is an opportunity for the grass roots to finally spread power out in the party, unlike 2012. and instead we have a redo at 2012. we have chairman gaveling through. people who legitimately obeyed the rules. to get a roll call vote. this is disenfranchising, dare i say. >> let me ask you, a lot of people out there. people suggesting that reason that you and utah senator mike lee to ted cruz supporters, though i'm not sure what mike lee will do, by wathe way. this is an opportunity -- >> let me stop you again. we add trump delegation at our rules coalition. we had kasich delegates. we have cruz delegates. and people who never committed to any candidate. we had people on our team on on the cruz team. >> you're way ahead of me. the idea is to close the process from independent, from democrats, from people that aren't republicanes so that a
conservative can such as ted cruz is win in 2024. you say that's not part of that? >> no, there is about decades of growing establishment power in the rules. and having an opportunity, or so we hoped, to have, more than we ever had, anti-establishment delegates in the hall. an i venture to say that if more of the trump delegates knew the whole story, they will be voting for us. but we don't have the opportunity to deliver that. i understand it from the trump campaign. but i don't understand violating our own rules and decimatingity own grass roots four years after that demoralized large swabs of the republican base. >> so i asked rudy giuliani, who was just here. america's mayor. big supporter of donald trump. he said after we played some of mike lee talking, he said this is why donald trump won.
this kind of inside the beltway obscure rules debates and instead of talking about how to protect the country from terrorism. how to get better trade deals. how do bring more jobs to the united states. >> what we are talking about here, getting grass roots conservative rules is not inconsistent with -- look a what happened on the platform. more conservatives on the platform committee and trump folks got all the things they wanted on trade and immigration. which i don't have any qualms about. that's fine. and you didn't see us resisting this. he saw a lot of conservatives assisting in that effort. so why did they suddenly turn on us here in rules along with reince priebus and the rnc? it was so decimate the grass roots and make sure the grass roots can't get power away from the establishment. >> republican national committee response might sound something like this, having a roll call vote on the rules would allow
individuals who offer amendments -- >> mm-hm. mm-hm. >> it would not? >> absolutely not. a straight up or down vote. >> straight up or down vote? >> straight up or down vote. >> on the rules? >> on the rules. >> and you were going to vote no on the rules? >> i was because of centralization and power within the party. and completely ignoring and abusing grass roots. >> you think your side would have lost though? >> let's face it. whenever you good up against a presumptive nominee when they team up with a party your odds are long but you don't win any fight you don't get in they didn't even let us try. we didn't even get to vote, jake. >> by adding amendments youing a knowledge your side wouldn't win -- >> no. >> if your side won you could offer amend pmt. >> if we won, the rules would have to go back to the rules committee and there is the opportunity for compromise. >> right. and people, not you, but others saying unbind delegates -- >> there was never going to be in that rules committee an unbinding compromise.
that was not on the table. >> it never passed but there would be a vote -- >> but there was a vet thursday. >> yeah but we weren't covering it. there weren't millions of tv cameras around it at the time. and the trump forces say this is just an attempt to embarrass us and make it seem like there is disarray and isn't support for donald trump. >> we had an agreement with the trump rnc team. and they were, a trump rnc team in negotiating over the rules with grass roots conservatists. not unbinding people. they weren't part of the discussion. we came to an agreement. and rnc backed out of it and they backed out of it interestly over the bonus for incentivizing states to have close primaries which reince priebus is on the record in concept supporting. so he pulled out on something he thwarts and on the trump side we were trying to fix the things he said were rigged. he is right. the selection commities in florida, new york, indiana, we put in amepdments to get rid of them. they whipped against us.
how does that make sense? >> if nothing else, you brought some excitement to my hour of television, 4:00 to 5:00. >> if things get boring, you can always draw cartoons. >> every time you want to do this, do it between 4:00 and 5:00. >> no, this is the last thing i wanted to see her. this is unfortunate. >> you thought they would allow a roll call vote? >> why wouldn't they. >> because it would have sent rules back to committee -- >> well they were so sure they would win. >> i'm saying if your side had won -- >> yeah. >> then the rules committee reconvenes and everybody else keep doing their business. it's in the rules. >> i'm guessing that their argument is, if we had done a roll call vote instead of voice vote, if we had done a roll call vote then that would have demonstrated disunity. so trampling the people who disobey the rules doesn't? another important piece of this is even after the rnc polled the
agreement that existed, om any bus agreement, they love those, right? we came back to the table and kept negotiating to try and achieve a peaceful solution to thp again, unbundithis. again, unbinding people were not at at table. it is not that we were binding or unbinding. that was not part of the table. we were talking about fixing rigs part of the sift whiystem were all shot done. >> last question. >> yeah. >> somewhere in a trump tower or somewhere else, mr. trump is watching us. seeing mike lee and ken cuccinelli leading the effort to create disarray at his convention. i understand that's his perspective, not yours. and thinking, those are cruz supporters p. what do you say to him? should cruz still have a speaking -- >> he had nothing to do with this. >> absolutely nothing? >> nothing. jeff roe is probably having a
heart attack because people like you ask the question. >> i'm trying to get to you clarify. >> it is a legitimate question. but he wasn't consulted, we didn't talk to him, he didn't know what was happening today. they haven't been involved in any of this. so you know, and i would point out the only reason that senator lee and i were at microphones, we asked them to recognize a lady from washington state, you heard them say you have to turn them in writing beforehand to be acknowledged and so forth. all of that was done as requested. and there was a regular grass roots delegate ready to make that motion. it only takes one when the petitions are filed as per rules and they wouldn't recognize her. when womack was looking over there, and i'm in the mid nell virginia, and washington is way off in the left corner. so i'm looking at womack and i thought okay he is going to recognize her.
that's great. >> womack was the guy on the stage. >> yeah. congressman womack was in the john boehner position of 2012. and they didn't. they dragged in some other motion that was out of order. >> mr. trump, if you're watching, ken said that ted cruz had nothing to do with that. don't hold it against him. >> your guys should have been better negotiators. i'm sure it would have gone better. >> that's from ken, not me. thank you to mr. blitzer and mr. cooper who allowed us to go over. i throw it to them right now. >> hello from the quicken loans arena where suddenly a few moments ago last ditch stop trump rebellion erupted and so did the convention floor. hello, i'm wolf blitzer. anderson cooper is joining us
shortly. did the trump campaign chairman paul manafort is with me right now. he will join us. but let's begin with exactly the kind of moment that conventions used to be known for, outcry he from the floor. arm-twisting back stage. intrigue, uproar. you name it and we just saw it. it happened when the convention rules came up far voice vote. anti-trump forces, some of them, also ted cruz supporters, trying to have their say. listen to this. >> without objection, previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. and the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. and the resolution is agreed to. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. >> the chair would remind the
hall that it is absolutely critical that we are able to discern the ayes from the neys. those in favor of the rules package will say aye. [ crowd yells aye ] [ gavel ] those opposed shall say no. [ crowd yells no ] fs fs in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. let's bring in cnn political director, david. was quite a moment, david. we anticipated something would happen but this is a very, very
contentious moment on the floor behind us. >> it was and entirely unscripted, which is not the way we are used to conventions going these days. let's be clear on what happened here. i want to take us back it last week for a moment when the convention rules committee was meeting. we had to take about three different buckets they were looking at. when it comes to delegates, two different efforts. one is to unbind delegates. they are not bound by state pry ma primaries and caucus votes. that failed. they weren't going anywhere. trump forces crush that. then the conscience clause that you could vote your conscience. that failed as well. and you just heard ken cuccinelli talking about changing the primary calendar for next year for getting rules in place for how they select their nominee. that also failed. what happened here today is that the entire rules package as voted out of those committees
with none of those pieces in place. what you saw is some of those forces coming together to try to force a full roll call vote on the floor. to turn down that whole rules package because they don't like the way it came out of committee. here's the thing. what you just saw was a display of how together the trump campaign and rnc are these days. they were successfully able to take an effort where they tried to get signatures from nine states or so. >> seven states. >> minimum of seven but they got nine. anti-trump forces. >> needed majority. >> exactly. they beat them with six states so the claire went up there. paul tells me five. so the chair went up there, and that was his success of not allowing roll call vote. even if there was roll call vote, trump forces had this lined up. they would overwhelmingly crush this effort. but what happened here was this unscripted moment that paused
chaos and i look at it and last guess of anti-trump forces where the performers and the rules are. >> and it was not in the cards to pass. >> paul manafort is with us. campaign chairman, i want to get to that and get all of your thoughts on this in a moment. but dana bash, she is also behind us at the convention. i want to bring in dana. you watch it all unfold. i had the chance to speak with them or make this case for this roll call vote. good ahead. what was it like? >> incredibly dramatic. . l i want to underscore what david was just reporting. in getting the sense from the people here trying to push for the roll call vote, it was as much about trying to guide the future of the party and make it more conservative that last gas as david said of the never trump
movement. both were quashed. but i want to bring in ken buck from the colorado delegation. a supporter of ted cruz. you were behind this, was a quiet effort that just exploded on the floor to try to get a vote here which would have allowed you to change the rules. from your perspective, were you doing it to stop trump or were you doing it to help a ted cruz like conservative if donald trump, assuming donald trump does not win? >> well i will support the republican nominees. i have nothing against donald trump and will support him if he wins. but what i tried to do is get a roll call vote on the rules package so we could have closed primaries in the future. that's what i felt strongly about. >> for people that might not know what it means what you are trying to do is make it so that the process by which a republican nominee is elected through the primaries is only done by people who are
registered republicans not independent or swing voters. and your point is to make sure that nominee is a conservative, correct? or more conservative that you believe someone like donald trump is? >> i think a republican should choose a republican and a democrat should choose a democratic nominee. we want to have a nominee that represents the republican party. >> i was talking to a republican party source who said the reason they were able to quash your effort and get several of the states who had said they would go along with you to pull back because they were hood winked. they didn't realize that many of them were never trump people and didn't realize what they were signing on to was a process that you're describing to try it make the party and platform and process in the future more conservative. is that a fair assessment? >> i don't think anybody was hood winked. if the r fl c wanted to do this proper properly, they should have named the nine states that signed up
and then the three states that were withdrawn. that would be transparent way of telling the delegates that had gone through the right process. instead everything was done in secret and i think that's unfortunate. >> okay. thank you very much. appreciate your time. and what you see here is a lot of talk about kind of the weeds of the process here. but it is clear that the party isn't united. however, it is also important to note that the trump campaign working hand in glove with the republican party was able to stop this, and very public manner but they were able to stop this effectively on the floor. >> all right, dana, stand by. we have breaking news to report. john king is with us. john king, what are you hearing. >> a hiccup that trump is coming to the convention tonight. he was to introduce his wife. but we are told by secret service and trump ampaign reporting there was be a accident involving mr. trump's
motorcade. we are trying to get details. it was a staff car. trying to get more information from the secret service. just described as motor vehicle incident and we have no information at the moment. >> indication is mr. trump is fine? >> yes. campaign checked when we asked about the incident and they said he is absolutely fine. it happens every now and then. and especially in new york city, driving motorcades. we've had the experience in the past. these things happen. but we are trying to get more information. >> paul manafort, what can you tell us about this incident? >> what i'm hearing is that he everything is fine. mr. and mrs. trump are on the plane on on the way here. >> they boarded the aircraft and on their way it cleveland. >> i'm told no one was injured. >> okay. so we can move on in. >> yes. >> good to knee. let's talk about what happened moments ago on the floor. what is your understanding of this lively contentious debate that we just saw? >> it's a convention. david defined it really well.
he defined it very well. this was not about trump. the conscience vote and the significant in tours collected were based o rules that related to the party. not just for 2020 but governance rules as well. and frankly mr. trump said during the course of the campaign he wants to make changes to the rules that govern the primary he in the next cycle. but we made a decision that it is not a good idea it change rules that affect the future at conventions that have been in, it is better to do it after the convention and let the rnc use the rules and don't have mistakes and unintended consequences. we created a commission and that will take effect sometime in january 2017 and report back in a period of time with rules changes. we have no problem with the
rules as they were. what you saw today is people wanting to play politics with the rules. >> you see people leading this fight and what they need are majority of the delegates in seven states. but you say they didn't have that? >> no. they only have five. there are four petitions withdrawn, not three. >> with cruz related -- >> some of the people telling they were signing the rules were supporters p. people who took their names off the list when they found out this would affect the program convention were supporters. the trump campaign has nothing to do with this. we ended the convention on time today. >> they went into recess on time before 5:00. eastern. which is what they were supposed to do. but a lively moment, you have to admit, when he was calling for the actual voice vote. it seemed close to me just
sitting here on the floor. >>, no, we probably had 1900 vote on the floor. at least. >> well if there was roll call you would have won. but it would have lasted longer if they had to read all of the names. >> it would have been a meaningless gesture. we knew the result. everyone knew the result. it t would have effected the schedule for tonight. >> mike lee of utah, he wanted the roll call. has he told you we vote for donald trump? >> i haven't talked to he is not pour lee in a couple of week now. so i'm not sure what his thinking is. i know he had legitimate kes concerns about rules. i think it is more related to rules of the party and champion of grass roots and there are rules he want it change and frankly that mr. trump wants it change but in the right environment. >> tell us about the thinking of melania trump.
wife of donald trump. she will be speaking to knit. how did that decision come about? >> she wanted to speak. as we started to put the program together, i was talking to the trump family and they were asking about members of the family speaking and i said sometimes they did and sometimes they don't. i with like you to speak. i think you all have started and that hasn't been in the campaign so far. >> what is that story? >> startry of who their father is and what kind of man he is. you saw one part of trump in the campaign. that's a legitimate part of who he is. he haven't scent businessman, father, compassionate human being that a lot of his friends and strangers who he helped understand him to be. the family helps us communicate that message. >> i guess all of the children will be speaking, except for baron, the little boy, but the other four will speak over the next few nights. >> question. >> this is something donald trump is anxious to do. >> he is on the flight. i take it he will introduce his
wife and make a quote surprise appearance. >> well, he tweeted as well, originally he said he would be watching, then he said he would be there. then he said, i want it introduce her. >> long speech, short speech? >> i'm not sure. but i'm sure he will say what he wants to say and then get off the stage. >> you never know. paul manafort. thank you. a lot of work to do. >> campaign chairman for the trump campaign. we have to take a quick break. there is a whole lot more to talk about from the floor fight to the speakers list to donald trump's journey here to cleveland. melania trump will be speaking as well. all of it coming up. and also the security concerns here in cleveland. safety concerns for police officers nationwide after baton rouge and dallas. you will see what police are doing to stay safe and why it could keep them all, keep all of us safe as well. we'll be right back.
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we're back here at the republican national convention in cleveland. there was excitement within the past hour or so. no shortage of breaking news from donald trump. motorcade accident. he is okay. apparently everyone else in that motorcade is okay. he are told he is on his flight, together with his wife, flying here to the convention. anderson there's serious excitement, especially on the floor. >> yeah, quite a convention already. the like of what we haven't seen for quite sometime. let's back to dana bash.
dana? >> shawn, i want to get from you, your perspective, people watching this on tv and frankly a lot of people here on the floor, were quite confused about what looked like disarray. first of all, that the chair, coming out and calling for a voice vote. >> right. >> at which the ayes had it. clearly one by them -- fz why didn't he come back and do it again? unclear? >> make sure we went through the process correctly. they lost the voice vote. very clear from everyone in the hall that the ayes had it. went back and did a -- a request for roll call vote. you need majority of seven states. what happened was they submitted nine states. as people realized what was actually being asked of them, three of the states lacked ultimately lacked majority of people took their names off of the petitions because they didn't reflect what they thought they had actually signed p s. so it dropped below that.
it went to six states and that wasn't enough for a roll call. >> my understanding is that people in the sort of in the movement with ken buck just here, other conservatives trying to set the process in motion for the next election. so that it is it makes it for a conservative would be elected because only republicans would be allowed to vote. but they used that to get people in the anti-trump move amount that didn't want that and so they co-oped them. >> so rule 40 that everyone was annimated about earlier in the process, in florida, because it was a plurality of five, and reince priebus made it easier for people to be on the roll
call and it would have been things that would have been pleasing to the roll call vote. some folks out here today were people that rejected a deal that would continue to give grass roots for strength. and that's sad. but there is an effort to continue to strengthen the rules back. >> so you won. you were able to squash the -- but my question is, this hasn't happened in a he have long time. not like this. on the floor. >> no, no. the people walked out. you carried it live. there is a small tiny of fraction -- >> this is more than small. >> reality is, let's keep it in context. 44 states in support. most of the -- all the territories. this is a for a tiny group of folks that made noise, started in the rules committee as you know. an single minority report. they lost the voice vote and asked to demonstrate support here and lot of that again. they lost three times in a re. overwhelming majority of delegates are unified ready to go and ready to sport this ticket.
that's the fact and rules pack just got passed is the most grass roots friendly rules pack passed in two generations. >> shawn, thank you so much. anderson, back to you. and shawn is explaining reality but reality and optics sometimes clash and i think it is something you have to explain over and over again because of the display we saw opt floor, anderson. . >> yeah, fascinating to watch. the reaction on the floor, thanks very much. i want it introduce the panel. john king is with us. malia henderson, gloria borger and mike shields, jeffrey lord and scotty hughs. mike rogers. john king, let's start off with you. just in terms of what we have
witnessed on the floor, it is now in recess. what exactly happened? a lot of the folks who had been interviews, mike lee, ken cuccinelli, saying this wasn't about donald trump. are they right? >> yes and no. obviously it is donald trump's convention and they were asked to do this in a different way. they were asked to do this down the line and they decided to do what they did knowing if they succeeded or just having pay offs at the very beginning of the convention would be somewhat of an embarrassment to the trump campaign. most of the people involved are ted cruz loyalists. most of them are trying to change the rules to make it a more republican process. fewer independents. let me put it this way, more closed so others can't vote down the line. >> so a more conservative candidate would have a better shot down the road. >> part of the effort was to unbind delegates. they realize had they didn't have the vote. so it began as an effort to take control of the convention away from donald trump.
try to deny them the nomination. >> unbinding delegates to explain to viewers would allow delegates to essentially vote their conscience. >> vote for whoever they wanted to. then they realized they didn't have votes for that. so they wanted to throw gum in the system and have state by state roll call on the rules which would have dragged this out. we would still be here number one. prime time program would go off the rails. you can look at it by conservative grass roots people, most that don't support donald trump, to give him a poke. or look at this this way. first big challenge at trump convention and trump forcers took control, took some of their people aside and said you sign those petitions. we need you to go in there and say take our names off petitions. ugly and unruly. some people say it wasn't dem attic but it worked for the trump campaign on the first day of their convention. look at it two ways. if you expect there might be a couple more because there are people in this hull what don't want donald trump as nominee,
trump campaign says okay. they challenged us. we won. move on. >> this is an indication of what a different kind of convention who will be. we always complain that conventions are scripted and there's no real news in them. this is the most drama since clint eastwood talked to an empty chair at the last convention, right? and i think this is an indication of the lack of unity of this party and the fact there are some people on edge and the fact that the trump campaign and rnc, by the way, are firmly in control of this floor right now. but i wouldn't be surprise fed we saw more eruptions over the course of the next few days. because this is a different party. it is not united. and it will be a different -- >> and mike, our delegate expert, were you surprised by what you saw? how do you see it? >> first of all, it is frustrating when there are rules in place, if you want to have a
vote, you can get seven states, get over half the delegations to do it. they didn't have the vote. was a cruz for and they are in favor of this. there would be 50 states -- >> they said they had more states and they would like to see who withdrew. and they haven't seen details. >> right. you wouldn't need that if you had overmajority of delegates. so what happens is by the way, what trump people are saying rules are rigged against us. and the fact of the matter is, the cuccinelli folks submitted amendment after amendment after amendment. they lost all the vote. so they wanted it come to the floor. i think part of this is a strategy. a cruz sort of reagan '76 convention coming out of this. he wanted to win and say wouldn't you rather nominate me. they came out saying we got rolled by the establishment, it is not fair, not democratic p.
which is not the case. they followed the rules and lost. >> the last gas of the never trump movement? >> yes. it is over. it is over. up with of the things i want to say, i was involved in 1984 to help write the platform. everything was sweetness in life with ronald reagan. we were pitting bob dole against newt gingrich and bob kemp over raising taxes and the language in the plat farm was huge and finally resolved with a comma. i can't remember the exact sentence but we put a comma in there and that calmed everybody down. i want to say here that these things can happen. is this different? sure. this is a political convention. this is what these things are for. and trump has control. he is the nominee. >> it does seem like this is a sign of rnc and trump forces work hard for several hours i think on the floor to make sure that this didn't go anywhere.
>> absolutely. you can thank the 14 million people who helped vote in the primary to force the rnc and trump delegation it work together. i would say the conservatives led this. the p this is a very small group, usually people supporting ted cruz who might be, we thought, donald trump bringing on mike pence as vice president. we thought that might appease him. i'm thinking ted cruz is going wait, that guy with the same amount of voting record i have, staple standard, didn't make as many people angry. wonder if they are doing this pence would move us -- >> so is this a small fwrup or not unified party? >> i think a crushing win for donald trump on the floor. remember the house of representatives goes through this every two years. they go behind closed doors, they fight, come back out. this is interesting to me.
this is a single movement that did not represent conservatives across the country. represented somebody who had a candidate that they wanted to put in place both protect them in the convention here and then later in 2020. matter of fact, my home state, we had a delegate go to virgin islands to seek residency to become a delegate to push this through. >> have we seen a convention in which so many former presidents who are part of the party are not coming? even up and coming people from the party are not attending? >> no. i don't think we have seen that before. but this is going to be a dirent kind of convention. if you think about all of the lineup tonight, headliners, donald trump and his wife, melania. but we've got the guy from "duck dynast dynasty". guy from "charles in charge", scott baio. chachi as well.
>> like you know. >> yeah. where are they now from 80s and '90s. this is what we have come to expect in talking to people on the floor and some ways they don't ne what to expect. some of them know donald trump will be here. melania will be here. but they don't know the befy of people from diverse backgrounds. >> michael, donald trump is going to be on the stage speaking to introduce his wife. that's a complete break from, you know, i always remember conventions sort of the night before the candidates speaks, he appears at the convention. and a moment to actually on the first night have the candidate speaking -- >> i have a vision of my head of 1980 or '84 of reagan waving at the television set as nancy is speaking. and the closest you get to the giper is seeing him on television. the i vote for donald trump.
the nay vote was a vogt against donald trump. there was such confusion they today do it again. if the nay votes are synonymous with people not happy with him being nominee of this party then it tells me there is a lot of d discann discontent in the hall. i'm interested to see how well he is received tonight. >> you have voters saying, no, no, no, this isn't about donald trump at all. >> well, it is about donald trump. because they are disrupting his convention. and they know exactly what they were doing. >> paul manafort says look, this isn't the place or time to talk about rules for the next time around. we doll that after all is said and done. >> and manafort says we think the rules are rigged too. cruz did very well in the caucuses. they would like it change that as well. this is the place to talk about the rules. you may disagree with me but isn't this the place to talk about the rules?
i think it is. it is where you have your convention delegates make rules for the -- >> isn't that in a rules committee? not on the -- >> but to get the -- >> not in front of all the cameras. >> but to get back to anderson's question. this was about donald trump and it was also about 2020 and setting it up for a more conservative candidate. >> john we have to take break. >> i asked paul manafort downstairs, will you take revenge against ted cruz? >> he said, no, it so over, we won, all is good. >> ken cuccinelli also made a point on camera saying this is not ted cruz telling us to do this. this has nothing to do with ted cruz. for the record. just ahead, hillary clinton spent day one of the republican national convention in cincinnati speaking at naacp national convention which he is said plus new polling showing the republican party more divided than democrats. we will see how the panelists reflect on that, if it is true or not.
now you can watch nbc's coverage of the rio olympic games live at home or on the go. welcome back. over the next fewer days, donald trump and allies will be aiming a barrage of attacks a at hillary clinton starting tonight with handling of benghazi. and the clinton campaign says it is ready. they've set up a rapid response team in cleveland to defend from expected attackes. hillary clinton started the day in cincinnati today speaking at an naacp convention.
about when it comes to unity, a new cnn rnc poll shows that democrats have an edge. 35% of democrats say their party is unite ped. 40% say it is divided but will be united in november. 24% say it is divided and will stay that way. just 60% of republicaned say their party is united. 52% say it is divided but will be united in november. 28% say it will stay divided. jeff zellay is joining us with more. hillary clinton is not simply abandoning the stage. >> she is not at all, wolf. she is here in ohio as well in cincinnati with about five hours south of where you are. and hillary clinton making the case that she is going to fight hard for ohio. starting by speaking at the naacp convention trying to rally president obama's co-lig of voters, african-american voters
that supported him by going after donald trump saying he tried to delegitmize the first blast president and reprized the whole controversy over questioning the president's citizenship. so wolf striking she was addressing the naacp today. donald trump invited to that meeting. he did not choose to attend. >> as you know, jeff, the secretary also had an appearance at the university of cincinnati today. what was her message there? >> it was an organizing event and she was trying to rally democrats in hamilton county. arguably one of the most important battle ground country counties in all of america here. she was trying to urge democrats to pay attention to the did not vengs. to pay attention to what donald trump is saying and doing in cleveland. >> a lot of americans are upset about that. and they are asking, what can i do, what can i do, to stop this
dangerous divisive candidate from getting within a thousand miles of the white house. well, i can tell you, it is not enough to yell at your tv screen. it is not enough to send a nasty tweet. that is not enough. you have to get registered and get out to vote in november. >> the clinton campaign focussing, wolf, this week on registering some 3 million african-americans starting that effort here in ohio and across the country. they believe that is key to november. now wolf, also as republicans are meeting, she is nearing the end of her vice presidential search. one of those listed as her potential fix, she will be campaigning in las vegas tomorrow and making her final decision before an announcement likely on friday. wolf? >> all right, jeff, thanks very much. anderson, over to you. >> wolf, thanks very much. back with our panel.
do you believe that the republican party is as divided as some democrats believe it is? >> i think there's work to do. i think that we came out after bruising primary and i think that you have seen the numbers. poll numbers show that donald trump has work to do. >> does pence help with that? >> i think he does. i think the main thing is what's going to be said on that stage thursdays night. trump will be speaking to this audience. he speaks to the audience where ever he goes. his audience is the republican party across the country and the delegates on the floor. he's got to win them over. it's up to him to do it. >> i think this will work out very well. i was a new person. >> how does governor pence
really help donald trump unify the party? he's the vice president. he voted differently. he believes in different things than donald trump does. >> the differences we saw on the floor is coming from the folks that would like mike pence. >> you've argued in the past that people don't vote for the vice president. >> i think that is true. i'm saying it helps bring the party together. in terms of the election, itself, i'm skeptical of that. >> because you're sdedealing wi someone never in office before, i think this entire week is about building confidence. i think many trump r. trump is of these speakers so say these are the kind of folks that will be around me. >> isn't donald trump, just as hillary clinton is, a known
quantity? don't people have opinions? >> this convention can be very, very important for donald trump. tomorrow will be a new day on this floor. you're going to have a whole new panel of speeches. when joni ernst take that stage tonight, today is gone. by thursday, you'll find a donald trump likely to gain more unity, more strength and clearly define. it's either donald trump or hillary clinton. that is a very strong message when you have two candidates with such high negatives. >> donald trump has two-thirds of republicans with him already. mitt romney lost had 92, 93% of republicans who voted for him. he has a little bit of work to do with the republican party and that's what he's going to do this weekend. >> hillary clinton's convention will unite the republican party maybe even more. >> let's toss it back to wolf. >> new information coming into "the situation room" right now
on that story that we've been watching very much on people's minds here in the united states and around the world. the killing of three police officers in baton rouge. the theme tonight, keeping america safe. let's go to louisiana now. what's the latest you're learning? >> reporter: wolf, some riveting detail about how the killer operated behind the buildings. these are the buildings where the killings to do place of the police officers yesterday. we're told by officials that the killer moved behind these buildings luring police officers back there and killing three of them back in that area. three of them together all in the same area. they've spoken with that kind of detail but with great emotion about how diabolical this attack was. here is the governor a short time ago. >> this was a diabolical attack
on the very fabric of society. that is not what justice looks like. it's not justice for anything that's happened in the state. it's not constructive. it's just pure evil. >> reporter: one key detail that we're learning from police officials tonight is how the killer was taken out. we're told as he made his way to the front of these buildings, he was shot by a swat team from about 100 yards away. the police chief of baton rouge saying he is convinced had he not been taken out would have gone down the street. if you look at this, we're going to zoom down the street. if you see the tan building to my right, that's the police headquarters. the police chief saying he's convinced this killer would have gone to police headquarters and taken out more officers.
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accident. no one hurt there. >> how those pro-trump forces eventually managed to carry the day. anderson, listen to this. >> without objection, the previous question is order. the question is on adoption of the resolution. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it, and the resolution is agreed to. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. >> the chair would remind the hall that it's absolutely critical that we are able to discern the ayes from the nays. those in favor of the rules
package will say aye. >> aye. [ gavel bangs ] >> those opposed shall say no. >> no. >> in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. >> cnn dana bash was on the on the convention floor when all of this erupted. it was exciting for about an hour. tell our viewers how it went down. >> reporter: this was very much a surprise. it was kind of brewing a little bit in the hours before but it was very much a surprise by the republican national committee and the trump campaign who have
been working hand in glove to try to kind of make things go smoothly during this convention process. they thought that they had kind of quelled two very strong forces during all of the debate throughout the week last week over the rules governing this convention and the rules governing the next primary process for the next nominating process in 2020. those two forces were "never trump." people who wanted to have an ability to have a conscience clause. others who are kind of core conservativ conservatives. many supporters of ted cruz who wanted the rules to be change so the next time the primary and caucus process would only allow republicans to vote. that would mean the nominee would be more conservative.
those two forces aligned kind of quietly what was supposed to be a rudimentary vote here. they went around quietly before this moment here, wolf, and they got nine states, i believe nine states to say that they were okay with a role call vote. the rules said if they had seven, they would be able to have a role call vote. why would that matter? it would open everything up. it would open up the ability for anti-trump forces to push their kind of votes and the conservatives to have their kind of amendments. what we saw was a very concerted effort. the republican national committee working hand in hand with the trump campaign to kind of quell that. they got three of the states to
rescind their efforts. they were able to stop it. what you just played was a messy process. first they tried to approve it by voice vote. it was unclear how that went down even though the chair said the ayes had it. i'm told the republican shachai the party chair said he was worried that didn't look good so they did it again. you have a lot of delegate who is are very unhappy that they thought they were going to be able to get an open process and have their voices heard and they weren't. the two take aways are number one it was kind of the last gasp of the "never trump" movement but also a very real, conservative, who's aligned group of delegate who is were trying to steer the party for the future into a more conservative lane. wolf. >> stand by. dana is on the convention floor. thank you very much. that was part of an eventful
day. day one is far from over. cnn jim acosta is joining us more with the latest information that we're getting. first day of the republican convention now officially under way. there were some notable party absences though, including the governor of this very state we're in right now. >> that's right, wolf. some of the biggest names will not be on hand for donald tru trump's moment becoming the nominee. mitt romney will not be here. john mccain will not be here. the last nominee will be bob doyle. it will be a tribute for him. he'll be sitting in donald trump's vip box for that. you're right. i don't think there's a bigger snub for this event for this convention than that of ohio governor john kasich. he's hosting this convention after all because he's the governor of this state. i've been talking to a senior
kasich advisor today and the ohio governor has been if cleveland. he's been at different delegations talking to people, milling around cleveland. he's not going to set foot inside this convention hall for the duration of this convention. he feels that strongly that donald trump should not be the nominee of this party. >> interesting that the republican governor of ohio will not walk into this convention center but the democratic mayor of cleveland was here earlier today. he went up on the podium and welcomed all the republican delegates here. very interesting. some of the more anticipated speakers, one of the most speakers will be the wife of donald trump, melania. what do we expect to hear from her? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. when you talk to people inside the trump campaign and remind them about john mccain and mitt romney and george w. bush being missing, they say there's one star and that is donald trump.
to add to that star power, they are bringing in his team members. melania trump will be going first tonight. she will be speaking to the convention hall here in a very unusual, unprecedented move. donald trump is coming here as well. he's going to introduce her to these delegates here. one thing that we have to look out for with introductions is just what donald trump is going to say. you recall on saturday when he introduced his vice presidential running mate, that went on for 28 minutes and veered into parts of donald trump stump speech that had nothing to do with introducing mike pence. melania trump will be talking about who donald trump is as a husband. as you know, a key weakness for donald trump, if you look at the polls and the numbers how he's doing with women right now. these are almost radioactive numbers for donald trump right now when i know it comes to female voters. they're hoping that melania trump will start to chip away at that this week.
>> certainly is the goal. thanks very much. anderson, over to you. >> i'm here with the panel. donna brazile who has been wa watching this with great interest. in terms of what we witnessed a little more than an hour ago, some will say it's a sign of disunity and others will say it's the sign of the death of never trump movement and a sign this is donald trump's convention. >> when you look at the substance of the fight regarding open primaries, there's clearly a need for the republican party to have this conversation. unlike the democrats, and we know this, we look at our rules throughout the four years proceeding the convention. at convention time we have an opportunity to have input from states and delegates. on the republican side you have this one opportunity and you changed that. i do believe this fight was
about 2020 and not just here in 2016. >> you remember the republicans changed the rule in 2012. i think it was 40b to zap ron paul and make sure his name wasn't placed in nomination. they get to 2016 and this backfired on them as rand paul pointed out. you want to be really careful when you start doing this. >> that rule is one the rnc negotiated with and changed for them because the grassroots, first of all, by the way, everyone claims to be a leader of the grassroots. they did win a concession. they got rule 40b changed back to five states. that's something that happened earlier and helped them. >> this isn't something we have seen at a lot of conventions in recent memories. >> no. we had the paul walk out, remember. that was small. we took note of it.
i think what's happening here is much more organic, actually. what we saw was the republican national committee really quash it. they kind of said this isn't going to happen at our convention and -- >> you had the speaker walking off the stage at a certain point. >> they sent that poor guy out there. this was a surprise. the fact they got all these signatures and want to pull this off. should the organizers of the event, they knew for a couple of hours this was coming. should they have had a better plan? there was more chaos. >> they were going off the stage to figure out -- this happens in the house all the time. this stage is different than the house floor. for him to ask a question, he had to walk off the stage to ask the question. the optics didn't work out as well. >> why did they not already know they were going to win it?
they have a loss. this is the third time they have lost. this was about embarrassment to the candidate. embarrassment almost to the party. that was their motivation. if they knew they didn't have the solid win, why even bother. >> that's dead right. a lot of these conservative forces don't like washington. some still have grievances with donald trump but they have it with the party. they consider themselves the true conservative grassroots and they have their agenda. this is part of the challenge. there's tensions. did all conservatives love john mccain and mitt romney. jeff goes back to the reagan days when he had to reach out to the moderate wing of the party. it happens at every convention. donald trump was an independent not that long ago. he said nice things about the clinton. it was a bit of a hostile takeover for the party.
he won. i would say to the point of what we're about to get to. there's always these two missions at the convention. one is to talk to the room. there's a lot of skeptics in this room. are you a movement conservative. will you really stand up for the pro-life movement. will you be that person given his positions in the past. he does have a mission here. the bigger mission is to the country. i'm fascinated by melania trump tonight. the biggest challenge for donald trump is to convince people out there, like me more. give me a second look. she's key to that. >> it's not just melania trump. you have governor perry. he came out and blasted donald trump. he was the first to come out and went after him on questions of faith. >> he called him a cancer on conservativis conservativism.
>> you have rudy giuliani. a number of people whose kids have been killed by illegal immigrants. >> national security, strength and just like malania will attract women, they believe in talking to people in the trump campaign, they believe the strength argument will also attract women voters because they believe women see a dangerous world and their national security voters very often to protect their family. they believe this is also a way to get, to bring down those negatives. in march he was 70% negative with women. it's important. >> that's the big challenge. rebranding donald trump. they want a bump out of this convention. we haven't seen a lot over the last couple of days. the biggest speeches we'll see, donald trump and melania trump. it's about humanizing the candidates and it's also, if you look at michelle obama speech,
she acknowledged that she had this line in her speech that when i met him, he was a guy with a funny name and he was in hawaii but he had the same values as my family. she was the translator. >> every night that's what they want to get out. by the end, they want to show what paul manafort was saying the side of donald trump that hasn't been seen. >> i thought governor romney had a beautiful family. they all spoke well. i remember those handsome sons. i remember the testimonials from folks who were latter day saints. they didn't play those cards. they were very careful in how much of that they showed. in retrospect it was probably a
mistake. i thought the best moment donald trump had in the entire primary process was the c nrks nrknn to where he brought his whole family and he said very little. i think he's right to play that card. >> we're going to take a quick break. we got a lot more to talk about as we await donald trump's arrival. we'll be right back.
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day one of the convention that for a few minutes resembled the old fashion kind of convention. rules battle, demonstration on the floor. joining us is is that right mike lee of utah who is in the center of it all. you looked pretty angry when the bait was unfolding. >> this was a lost opportunity. it was an opportunity for the party to unite. unity happens when people with different viewpoints are respected and able to -- >> what was your goal in seeking that vote? >> we wanted a role call vote. >> why? you knew trump had the votes in the end, right? >> there isn't about trump. for some people it is. it's about the rules, first order of business in any convention that the republican convention, as far as i know and any political convention. there was disagreement going out of rules committee about the rules package that was adopted. there were a lot of delegates for various reasons wanted a
role call on that. that's all we wanted. they shut that down. it's unfortunate. we need these people. the people who feel differently about the rules, for whatever reason are the very same people, the republican party will need come november to help us win elections. at the top of the ticket, the bottom of the ticket and everywhere in between. >> they said you needed seven states. they said -- you said you had nine. they did some checking and you had five or six. you didn't meet the requirement. >> we believe we had 11 states that submitted the requisite number of signatures. they came back and said three states were withdrawn. they would still leave us with eight, more than the threshold of seven. i'm not sure what to make of that. i will say this, this was a lost opportunity. when people have the opportunity to be heard, they are more likely to work for the party, work for the party's nominees
for various officers whether it's president or congressional seat. this was a missed opportunity to have this vote. >> where do you stand on donald trump as the republican nominee? >> i'm a lifelong republican. i've never voted for anyone for president for any party other than the republican party. this is an opportunity for him to win over the party and like to be invited into a discussion. >> paul manafort said there's going to be an opportunity in january of next year for the rules committee to meet looking ahead to 2020. that that's what you're really anxious to change the rules so a conservative would get the nomination to close the
primaries and caucuses to only registered republicans and not outsiders. >> sure. this discussion is about not only this year but also 2020 and 2024. >> was that your real goal, 2020? >> we have lots of goals. there's lots of things we need to discuss. the one thing we wanted to know is where are the delegates on this issue? it's the delegates that get to decide that. we knew it would be a voice vote. that's why we asked for simple role call vote. i have to ask the question, why on earth did the rnc choose to create this toxic environment through four hours of delay and come back to us after that and say a few of them after the rnc lobbied several of these states for several hours they have withdrawn their petitions. why did they have to do that? what are they afraid of? we would be a better, stronger party. >> going ahead in 2020, you have the caucuses and primaries to be closed only to republicans and not let independents or maybe
democrats register and vote? >> i want the states that choose to keep their primaries closed to be recognize for that and be rewarded. >> there was an argument that some were made is you were doing this for ted cruz. you're a ted cruz supporter? >> i am. ted cruz with drew from this race months ago, a long time ago. >> donald trump will be your nominee? >> i think he is. >> you think. >> i'm almost certain he is. >> is there anything you can do even at this last minute to prevent him from being the republican nominee? >> probably not. he's almost certainly going to be our nominee. because that's the case, he's going to need to get as many people into his tent as he can. that means uniting the party and helping people that feel like they've been disenfranchised today. the same people they will need as part of a grass roots network
to get out the vote for him in november. he needs those people in his tent. let us have a vote. i don't think this is about donald trump. i don't blame this on donald trump. i blame this on the rnc. the people who are running this convention made a decision rather than have a vote, rather than respect the fact that i believe 11 states submitted necessary petition, let them have a role call vote. >> you stay here for the next three days? >> i'm here. i'm going to stay and participate. >> when will you decide whether you will vote for donald trump? >> that's up for me as a voter to decide. >> no chance you will vote for hillary clinton? >> no. >> any chance for gary johnson in. >> i don't know. i'm a delegate to the republican national convention. it's always my instinct to want to vote for republican candidates. >> what will it take for you to vote for donald trump? >> i would like to see him come
out with an aggressive reform agenda. one that focuses on the structural protections in the constitution. some are lost constitution, including principles, separation of power. most government decisions supposed to be made locally. instead they have been taken to washington and within washington, too much of that power has been sucked into the executive branch. mostly america's poor, middle class. he started talking about restoring federalism and separation of powers and what he would do to do that. i think he'd be very appealing to a lot of conservatives like me who have yet to hear that aggressive, consistent messaging from him. >> the mike pence selection didn't impact you? >> i think he's a great choice. i'd love to hear more messaging like that out donald trump. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> we'll get the latest from
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briefing the public on the killings of three law enforcement officers. the headline, they say it was an ambush and could have been even worse if not for the heroic actions of the other officers. chief, thank you so much for joining us. i can't imagine how hard it must be for you and your department in dealing with this horrific, horrific loss. how are you holding up? >> well, we're hanging in there. we're very proud of our department. we're very proud of our men and proud of our city. our city's support has been overwhelming to us in our time of need. we're thankful for their support and with their support we'll get through this. >> what can you say about the officers you lost in this horrific attack? >> i lost two police officers. one a ten-year veteran and one just a one-year veteran who had
served three tours in iraq before becoming a baton rouge police officer. i've lost two very good police officers who compassion, dedication and professionism to l to law enforcement is unsurpa unsurpassed. his service led him to be a baton rouge police officer where he continued to serve his community and his country. >> i know montrell jackson who was shot and killed, he gave you a pep talk just a few days earlier. what did he say? >> well, i was going through the department trying to lift everybody's spirits. we've been 10, 12 days into the protest and was just trying to give them some words of encouragement and shook montrell's hand and he looked me
in the eye and started giving me a pep talk about keeping my head up and we were going to get through this and it ended up being a very somber moment for me with montrell. >> we also learned how the officers lost their lives. one of the officers was tending for another officer when they were both killed by the shooter. what does they say about the bravery of these men? >> it goes without saying. i mean, i don't have the words to explain their courage, their bravery, their dedication and professionalism to each other and compassion that they had for each other in this community. to come out from behind cover when you're receiving fire to tend to another officer is just unspeakable heroic act. >> there was a very long shot that took out the shooter. tell us about that.
>> could you repeat that again. my ear piece fell out. >> i understand the shooter when he was killed, it was the result of a very, very long shot by one of your men. >> it was a shot from one of our swat team member who is happened to be right down the road and responded to the call. he pulled in the parking lot and drew his weapon, knew he had to take the suspect out then, that we couldn't wait. it was approximately 100 yard shot that ended uptaking te i t shooter out. it was a very clutch shot. maybe god had his hand on him when he pulled the trigger, but it stopped the threat immediately. >> you have no doubt this shooter came to baton rouge and his mission was to ambush and kill as many police officers as
he possibly could, is that right? >> we do believe his mission was to come here and harm police officers. we haven't confirmed all the data through his social media and through other parts of the investigation. we believe he came here to kill police officers and unfortunately, he succeeded to an extent. >> once again our deepest condolences to you and every one else in baton rouge. thank you so much for joining us. >> yes, sir, thank you for your thoughts. >> thank you. just ahead from here in cleveland, we have some new polling. hillary clinton and donald trump compare in voters eyes on key issues and who voters think are most trustworthy. we'll be right back.
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we're back. it's day one of the republican convention here in cleveland. let's go do dana bash. she's got a special guest there on the house -- on the convention floor. >> reporter: that's right. i have governor perry here. do you want to say hello? newt gingrich. hello. that's what happens when you're on a live convention floor. thank you so much for joining me. first, i want to ask you, i know
you were just coming here tonight, but you heard about the noise here and the fact a lot of people who wanted to have their voices heard, a roll call vote was shot down. what does that tell you? >> it tells me that's the way the process works. i don't get confused that sometimes democracy can look a little bit muddled. it can be a little bit confusing. if you've been in the legislature and followed all the roberts rule of order and the things that occur, they happen. democracy, at the end of the day, starts it all out. that's what we're doing here. sometimes it gets a little heated. >> governor, you were donald trump's competitor in the race for the white house. you were the first one to say he was a cancer on conservatism. here you are on the floor ready
to back him. why have you changed in a way most of your competitors have not? >> i'm a big competitor for one thing. i'll be real honest. donald trump wasn't my first choice to be president of the united states. i was. the process works. i was eliminated along with 15 others. donald trump standing at the end of that. i totally respect that process. it's now down between two choices, hillary clinton and donald trump. i try the keep it pretty simple. the central focus for me is the supreme court and decisions that will impact this country for 40 years will be made by that supreme court. i'm a lot more comfortable than donald trump making that decision than hillary.
john kasich is not coming. what do you think they're not getting that you are about this process? >> i would be here, were i them. if they don't want to endorse, that's they're call. home state governor ought to be here. john's got to explain that to the convention folks. >> you think he's making a mistake? >> if i were the governor of ohio, i would be at the convention if i were a republican at the republican convention. if you have some things to say, a lot of tv cameras here. here's a way to say here is what i believe in and here is what's not getting done. all of this splitting of hairs, i think people need to be really careful about it. at the end of the day, donald trump, hillary clinton, supreme court. >> that's what you think it's all about? >> i think that's -- from my
perspective, that's a big story that needs to be told. is it about building the military back up? absolutely. when marcus latrell talks tonight, we'll talk about the military and about our veterans, getting this economy going. there's a lot of things that are important but donald trump hazahas addresses them all. i'm very comfortable as a governor of a state that was as successful as any of the country in the last decade. his economic outlook, his economic package is one that will get america back on track again. those three times, if you've got something over and above outside of those, god bless you, but what's more important than those three things. >> thank you so much. good luck speaking tonight. we'll be watching from down here. anderson, back to you. >> thanks.
donald trump and hillary clinton will do their best to try to seal the deal with any undecided voters. there's a new cnn poll showing hillary clinton leading donald trump by four percentage points. recent polls have shown the race tightening. john king braex it down for eak. how do trump and clinton match up? >> you want to sure up your strengths and address your weaknesses. we know it's a competitive race. here on the big issues facing the american people. who do voters trust more? donald trump. who do voters trust more on terrorism, donald trump. those are three great strengths for mr. trump on big issues.
economy is issue number one. donald trump wants to fortify the strengths especially the nick number. you heard rick perry talking about that. mr. trump also has weaknesses. on abortion issue, donald trump, this is more of a women in the gender gap, hillary clinton has a huge advantage. on overall foreign policy. trump wins on terrorism and isis. clinton wins on overall foreign policy. if you look at these top three, yes, hillary clinton has a slight advantage but trump comes into this convention on the issues and the dynamic in the country for change with advantages. he needs to deal with likeable and trust issues. >> we'll hear about those issues tonight. when it comes to the theme of trustworthine trustworthiness, who fares better? >> clinton, 34.
65%, she's not. donald trump, 38%, yes. 61%, he's not. for both of them it's a problem. part of the trump family to make the case, this is a nice guy. >> we talked about bernie sanders going over to hillary clinton. what is the poll show? >> let's look at some more numbers. you look right here, i want to start this one. here is another one as they go forward. who has the right experience to be president? this is a problem for donald trump. two-thirds say he does not have the ability to be president. to the point you just made, this is good news. a lot of debate in the convention hall. a lot of debate as the party unify. these are non-trump republicans. people who voted for people like
governor perry, governor kasich in the primaries. in june, only 67% said they will vote for trump. it's now up to 74%. hillary clinton's was 17% in june and it's now 8%. donald trump is making progress in unifying the party. doesn't mean there's not more work to be done. now he has four days right here in cleveland to try to unify the party more. >> thanks very much even more. back with the panel. gloria, in this age where we're seeing terror attack after terror attack, donald trump doing well on that issue compared to hillary clinton. >> that's what we're going to hear about tonight. he's going to try to talk about that or at the convention they will talk about it much more. the security issues they believe will help with women. they're going to try and say hillary clinton had her chance. they will talk about benghazi. they're going to raise that. they're going to say that donald trump projects strength and
hillary clinton projects weakness. that's going to be their simple choice. >> leadership. we see this in tweets. leadership, leadership, leadership. >> that's what trump is trying to do i know how to lead. i'm not going to lead you into a ditch in the economy. there is a difference in the republican party, particularly, between donald trump and paul ryan, for example. paul ryan is saying, you know, in order not to lead us into an economic ditch, you have to get -- you have to cut these entitlements. and donald trump has said i'm not going to touch social security. right? >> it's not just paul ryan. even governor pence. >> governor pence, too. >> let's give donald trump credit for this according to fund-raising and organization, it's an absolute mismatch. she has him at such a disadvantage in terms of the field operation that she has nationwide and the amount of money she has been spending in the swing states. he hasn't spent anything. and yet it's within the margin of error.
>> particularly, recently in battleground states. in florida, it's gone upside down for hillary clinton. >> yeah. it's hard to know. some of the polls are all over the place and say two different things. one has him up in pennsylvania. another has her up in pennsylvania. i think we're going to see a split between those rust belt states. that is his only path to the white house. he essentially has to get 64 more electoral votes to add on to what mitt romney was able to do in 2012. i think his path is in the rust belt. hillary clinton's strength is in states like florida, virginia, colorado, nevada and north carolina. his real challenge is he has got to bind the wounds of the republican party but also expand it. there's no path that can rely just on white voters for donald trump. at this point he is actually underperforming among white voters compared to mitt romney. >> i want to go back to roll call. you were shaking your head when we were hearing from mike lee, i think talking to wolf. mike lee said with this -- this
party would be stronger if they would have allowed a roll call. do you believe that's the case? >> i really don't. there was controversy about how these delegates were picked. not every single delegate was elected by the people to represent the people. a lot of these were chosen, at large delegates, chosen by the establishment or well-organized grass campaigns like what we saw in georgia. that was ted cruz. a lot of these delegate slots were trump filled by supporters of other candidates. that's why a roll call vote necessarily would have been representative of what the people had voted. >> we have to take a quick back. up next, melania trump will have her biggest moment yet as we wait for her prime time speaking appearance we'll look back at her other moments along the campaign trail. [burke] hot dog.seen it.covered it.
we're awaiting the arrival of donald trump and his wife, melania here at the republican national convention in cleveland. he is expected to introduce her before she addresses the delegates and millions of viewers around the united states and the world. she has certainly spoken before on behalf of her husband, but never on this kind of stage to such a broad audience. for more, let's go to cnn's randi kaye. >> good evening. isn't he the best? >> reporter: melania trump, addressing her husband's supporters in south carolina, impromptu appearance at the mike, her first more than five months into the campaign. it wasn't until the wisconsin primary in april that melania
officially stumped for her husband. >> i'm very proud of him. he is hard worker. he is kind. he has a great heart. he is tough. he's smart. >> on the campaign trail, melania is more often seen than heard. at the 9/11 museum in april, at trump's daughter tiffany's graduation in may, and fund-raiser in june. she did surprise reporters early on when she fielded questions in the spin room following a debate. >> great evening, yes. just the way it was handled was very fair and elegant. >> melania says she stays off the campaign trail mainly to look after the couple's 10-year-old son, barron. the trumps reportedly have a cook but no nanny. she may not say much in public but is known for giving her husband advice in private. >> do i agree all the time? >> uh-huh. >> with him? >> uh-huh. >> no, i don't. and i tell him that. i tell him my opinions. i tell him what i think.
sometimes he listens, sometimes he don't. >> she admits he doesn't always listen. still, as melania told anderson cooper, she does not try to change him. >> he's an adult. he knows the consequences. and so i let him be who he is. i give him my opinions many, many times. >> you do? >> yes. >> in a cnn town hall, melania defended her husband's eyebrow-raising criticism of other others, including women. >> he treats everyone equally. so if you're a woman and he attacks -- they attack him, he will attack back. >> reporter: melania is a slovenian immigrant who became naturalized citizen in 2006. she was once a successful model at 5' 11," meeting trump at a party in 1998. she told "people" magazine she thought he had, quote, sparkle. she would later become his third wife. now on the campaign trail, one of his greatest cheerleaders.
>> and if you elect him to be your president, he will fight for you and for our country and together we will make america strong and great again. thank you. >> a sales pitch that melania trump is now perfecting for prime time. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> that does it for us this hour. we'll be back one hour from now. erin burnett "out front" starts right now. and thanks so much, anderson. "out front" next, breaking news. civil war on the convention floor, chaos as anti-trump forces try to stage a protest vote. plus donald trump preparing to take the stage tonight as his wife, melania, makes a rare public speech. can she convince more americans to vote for her husband? official start of tonight's prime time lineup is coming up. we'll bring it to you l